Punched Drunk: Alcohol, Surveillance and the LCBO, 1927-1975

LCBO Surveillance Technologies

Punch Cards, IBM & Statistical Analysis


Permit Card 1958-1962

Starting in 1958 the LCBO stopped using Liquor Permit Books and instead issued cards to permit holders. The new “Liquor Permit Card” primarily acted as a means of verifying identity and connecting purchases to the relevant retained data.

individual permit

Although the liquor permit lost its purchase record section, it did retain the individualizing permit number as well as the holder’s signature as its means of enabling its surveillance functions. Like the Permit Book, the Permit Card’s individual number as well as the purchaser’s signature were used as a means of linking the purchaser to his/her purchase records. Specifically, this technology allowed vendors to check Purchase Order Form signatures against those found on the card, and enabled the review of the permit holder’s purchase history, if needed, and the application of Board classifications, if warranted, through the permit’s individual number. This redesign of the liquor permit allowed the Board to eliminate its costly permit books.


<< Liquor Permit Books 1927-1958    Getting a Permit    Other Liquor Permits

Tracking with IBM Punch Cards 1944-1962    Permit Card 1958-1962    End of Liquor Permits >>